You may be better served by asking this question at http://www.avsforum.com/ I find these guys are more into the video end of HT.
At EDTV level, I pick Panasonic over Pioneer. At HDTV level, my eyes can't tell the difference as I watch HDNet on those two plasma panels. Based on deductive reasoning or elimination process, I would pick Panasonic HDTV over Pioneer HDTV due to the core competency at EDTV level (all components & features taken into consideration). How valid is such reasoning? No one knows unless some one performd a statistical study. Other than that, visit those websites and rely on those reviews done by professionals. Good luck.
Swapwalker, It is entirely possible that at avsforum.com they suggest that the Elite is the same as an other model. However, I believe if you were to compare them, as I have compared thier models numerous times at any number of stores, you will agree that there is a sustantial difference in the picture quality.
You know, I wasn;t paying much attention since I was just browsing, but go to AVS forum and you will find some FAQs on plasma TVs that will give you what you need. I will admit that I liked the Elite an awful lot when I saw it at Tweeters, but I am also cynical enough to believe that they have tweaked the Elite to look better and justify the price since they sell them both. I did not go into several stores, tho.